Delhi police Saturday detained nearly a dozen gym owners protesting near the Lt Governor's office for permission to reopen the fitness centres in the city. "We want to request the Lt Governor to reopen gyms because it affects livelihood of over one lakh people employed in this medium-scale industry in Delhi.
But police detained us and took us to Civil Lines police station," said Chirag Sethi, the vice president of Delhi Gym Association, which comprises 4,000 small and medium entrepreneurs.
A senior police officer said around 12 people were detained but added they would be released soon. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority in a COVID-19 review meeting earlier this week approved reopening of hotels and weekly markets but did not allow gyms to restart.
A memorandum prepared by the association for Lt Governor Anil Baijal stated that gyms were being "neglected" by the government. "There are approximately 5,500 gyms in Delhi employing around 1 lakh persons whose livelihood is compromised. Fitness trainers, executives, cleaners, helpers, equipment vendors and housekeeping staff are affected," it said.
The association said that gyms in neighbouring states were allowed to reopen and no spike in COVID-19 cases was recorded, and expressed willingness to "adamantly" follow the government guidelines and preventive measures to contain the spread of the virus. Gyms in Delhi were shut since the imposition of lockdown in March.